Airport dining sounds about as much fun as medieval surgery. Greasy, undercooked, carelessly composed and poorly presented ‘food’ is pretty much standard fare in far too many airports.
I’ll happily browse the duty free for deals on Absolut, Jim Beam and Bombay Sapphire, but my gastronomical expectations don’t dare venture beyond machine coffee and a factory muffin.
However, I’ve recently been forced to reconsider my stance; airport dining isn’t just a foreseeable possibility – it’s already here. These five top airport restaurants might make you think twice before settling for pretentious lattes in Starbucks or rubbery ‘burgers’ in McDonalds.
If you have the hunger, browse our tips for top airport restaurants…and if you know anybody who’s passing through these airports, make sure you give them a recommendation – they’ll thank you for it later!
Deep Blue Sushi, New York: JFK
There might have been something fishy about JFK and the grassy knoll, but that’s no reason to host a sushi restaurant in his airport. Must be something else, then.
As if departing this world for the afterlife, those travelling via JFK have the chance to enjoy a spectacular last meal before they leave New York. Deep Blue Sushi is a full-service Japanese restaurant, with meat and tempura besides the seafood.
Fresh fish, crispy seaweed and tasty wasabi conspire to make you wonder why on earth you’re leaving this gourmet’s pleasure kingdom – or at least to give you a final reminder of why you’re definitely coming back next year.
Deep Blue is the spawn of trendy Asian restaurant Buddakan in Manhattan, offering consistency of quality already associated with the brand. If you have the time and the dime, go for a wine and dine before flying back to the land of the unliving.
Piquillo, New York: JFK
Since we’re hanging around, let’s check-in to another famous taste-fest. Piquillo was the first tapas bar to open at the airport, and has been tremendously popular thus far. With delicious dishes and ravishing Riojas (Spanish, naturally), Piquillo is an outstanding option – especially if you prefer your portions bitesized.
If you find yourself delayed and without company, prop yourself up at the communal bar, order a sangria or a glass of very fine wine, and chat away the hours with your fellow travellers.
Bubbles Seafood & Wine Bar, Amsterdam: Schiphol
Bubbles may share its name with an infamous massage parlour in my hometown, but that’s pretty much where the similarities end (apparently).
Although the seafood is mouthwatering here – particularly the raw herring and plump oysters – the real draw of Bubbles is…bubbles. Take a sip of first-class champagne in front of the massive saltwater aquarium and you’ll feel like a jet-setting connoisseur in no time.
Incheon Bibimbap, Seoul: Incheon
The range and quality of attractions on offer at Seoul’s Incheon Airport is so impressive…do the authorities even want you to see the rest of the city? Suspicious.
No wonder this airport is often ranked one of the best in the world: visitors can enjoy a spa, a casino, the Museum of Korean Culture, and even a golf course. So, once you’ve knocked your way around 18 holes, you might have worked up something of an appetite.
On-site food court Vitavia has a variety of restaurants, but people generally come here for the amazing bibimbap.
NOT a digital image format, bibimbap is a famous Korean dish that blends warm rice, chili paste, fresh vegetables, sliced beef, and a fried egg. Everything is made fresh, right in front of you.
Next time you’re busy sweating, gambling and teeing off at Incheon Airport, don’t forget to grab yourself a portion of this tasty treat.
Plane Food, London: Heathrow
Superheroes are pretty well known for their painful punning and cheesy one-liners, and God’s-gift-to-food Gordon Ramsay is no exception. Plane Food, situated at London’s Heathrow Airport, is a great place to while away the hours this summer whilst waiting for all those immigration queues to go down.
The varied menu includes a crispy duck salad and a risotto with English peas and seared cuts of dry-aged British beef. If, by some act of divine intervention, your time is limited, order from the two-course Plane Fast list. Pumpkin soup and Suffolk pork belly come in at less than GBP 20 and touch down in under 20 minutes. The puns come for free.
Too hungry to continue! So let us know: did you recently eat in one of these restaurants? Bottoms up or thumbs down?
Did we leave out any truly great airport restaurants? Leave a comment!